Archive | May, 2012

faking it

Most women have that one item of makeup that they feel naked without.

For some it is lipstick.

Others, it’s powder.

For me, I’m a mascara girl. No doubt about it.

The other day I came home from having my eyelashes tinted darker {it didn’t work} with no trace of mascara on and after a few minutes of chatting with the boys, No. 1 said, “what’s wrong with your face? It looks like your eyes shrunk!”.  Now if that doesn’t confirm my need for mascara, nothing will. Good grief, child. Someone needs to teach that boy what not to say to a makeup-less mommy!

To his credit, my eyes look rather lost without my non-existent eyelashes. Actually, they are there – long and thick – but they are so light they seem to disappear.

Enter lash extensions…

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all in favor of camping say ‘I’

Like many, many other families this past Memorial Day weekend, we traded in our insulated homes, our fluffy mattresses and modern conveniences like sinks and electricity for this crazy thing called camping.

{taken on our drive over to eastern washington}

Camping is a weird thing: we pack as few belongings as possible to go sleep in the dirt. In a nylon tent with only a zipper protecting us from danger. We cook food on a tiny gas stove and wash dishes in a plastic bin with cold water. We go to sleep with hair that smells of campfire and wake up bright and early when the sun comes up {and the seagulls dive bomb the campsite looking for scraps of food}.

It’s inconvenient. It’s a bit of work. It’s very dirty.

But it’s so good.

Time together outdoors with our families – without work or computers or phone service – just campfires and freeze tag and swimming in chilly lakes.  And s’mores. Don’t forget those. With peanut butter, please.

We went camping. It was inconvenient. It was a bit of work. It was very, very dirty.

But it was just what our family needed.

All in favor of camping, say ‘I’.

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my favorite way to wrap a gift

A beautifully wrapped gift is always a pleasure to give and makes the recipient feel extra special.

I’ve noticed an influx of gift bags lately at parties and showers and I understand why … it takes extra time and the right supplies to wrap a gift the traditional way with paper and ribbon.  A gift bag makes it so easy.

But I can assure you, this wrapping method is just as easy as those gift bags and costs just a few dollars.

It is my favorite way to wrap clothes, stuffed animals, a small stack of books – anything smallish and odd shaped.

Here’s what you’ll need:

:: gift

:: tissue paper {two large sheets}

:: roll of cellophane

:: scissors, tape

:: ribbon, stickers or gift tag for embellishing

STEP ONE: layer two pieces of tissue paper {this will make it less see-through} on top of cellophane. Cut cellophane slightly larger than tissue.

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enjoying the lovliness of nature

It’s instafriday on Life Rearranged and so I thought I’d link up once again.

I have had my iphone for just about two months now and I’m pretty much in love. Mostly because the camera is so. darn. good. And super easy.  It is fun to snap photos in an instant of things that catch my eye.

What catches my eye the most lately is the amazing show that the springtime in the pacific northwest is putting on for us.  I suppose this happens every year, but as I get older, I appreciate the beauty of nature so much more.

Here are some of my favorites taken this week:

{amazingly ruffled tulip}

{euphorbia – one of my favorite perenials}

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chalkboard walls: love them or over them?

Chalkboard walls are everywhere. It is no wonder since chalkboard paint is readily available and one of the easiest {and cheapest} ways to transform a wall.

The first time I remember seeing chalk paint was a few years ago when Martha Stewart and her team shared how to make your own custom mix {latex paint + tile grout}.

Since then, the trend has caught on and it seems like it only continues to grow.

Do you remember this oldie but goodie from cottage living? One of my favorites. Love that barn door, too.

Layla at The Lettered Cottage used chalkboard paint to cover a wall in her kitchen, then hung stainless steel shelves over top – such a charming restaurant look.

Have you seen Holly Mathis’ redesign of her boys’ bedroom? She is amazing.

She did the custom chalk paint method and covered a wall with it.

Such a great playful/classic boy room.

Janelle at House of Fifty added a dark chalkboard wall in her husband’s office, then created a gallery wall on top. She even left some empty frames to write in notes. So clever.

Her entire house is pretty amazing and worth taking a peek at to get some great DIY ideas.

A few years ago I painted one wall in my office with chalkboard paint.

{more of my office here and here}

I like the moodiness of the dark wall and the contrast with the subtle but busy pattern on the other walls.

{same wall, just rearranged. Its a sickness.}

The only problem with it is that our walls are slightly textured and so the surface does not allow for easy chalk writing. So pretty much the wall goes unused. That would be my only tip when it comes to painting a wall with chalkboard paint – smooth off the texture first.

I’m still a fan of chalkboard walls. I think they are whimsical and classic all at once and I’ll be keeping mine for a bit longer. And maybe adding another to my boys’ room.

What about you?

Are you still a fan or over the trend?


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a lesson in losing the weight

Have you ever been to the point where you just feel spent? Like you have nothing left to offer? That there’s something weighing you down but you don’t know how to lose the weight?

I’m in that place.

This gnawing exhaustion crept up on me yesterday afternoon and continued into the evening.  I went through the regular motions … made dinner, picked up the house, oversaw piano practice, jammied the kids. Audrey was particularly playful and distracted during pj time and while she ran off, I laid my head down on her floor and had a conversation in my heart that went a little like this:

What is going on with me? Why do I feel so … hmmm … how do I feel?

Tired? Not exactly. I mean, I’m always up for a nap, but I’m not sure that would solve it.

Spent? Sort of. It has been a busy day, but that’s not quite it either. Hmmm…

Then a word was spoken to my heart:


The exhaustion I was feeling wasn’t just a physical tiredness. It is a heaviness of my soul.

I feel weary.

Weary because No 2 is in a back-talking phase and I don’t like it.

Weary because my two-year-old is an embarrassing disaster on errands.

Weary because she and her brother have eczema that keeps getting worse.

Weary because those few gained pounds from Maui aren’t coming off.

Weary because minutes after mopping the floors, they are dirty again.

Weary because the boys have cavities.

Weary because this great project we’re working on is taking forever to finish.

Weary because I’m a total failure when it comes to menu planning.

I hate to even admit these things because they are so insignificant in the scheme of things. A five-year-old in our community just had a brain tumor removed and here I am feeling exhausted because my floors are dirty. I am well aware that there are more pressing issues in this world to be weary about.

But I think that is precisely my problem.

There are bigger things to worry about and more important issues to talk to God about and so all of these pesky little worries just sit on my shoulders – waiting for me to fix them. They are insignificant, but when piled up, they get heavy. And burdensome. So when I just go about my days carrying these burdens, no wonder I’m feeling worn out.

I realize with all of these little problems, that when it comes down to it, I don’t have a solution for them. They are beyond my abilities, my understanding, my determination.

And I like solving things. Fixing things. Having everything smooth and fresh and peaceful.

A few days ago I popped in an old Psalty cd we haven’t listed to in a while. It’s one of my childhood favorites.

Ironically, these are the lyrics to one of the songs:

I will cast all my cares upon You.

I’ll lay all of my burdens down at your feet.

And anytime I don’t know what to do

I will cast all my cares upon You.

It is one of those elementary truths that somehow I have forgotten.

The Lord says we can and should share all of our burdens with him {which means tell him about them! Talk them through. Humble ourselves enough to recognize that we can not solve them all on our own}.

Not just the big stuff {financial pressure, brain tumors, infertility}

but the little stuff too {cavities, potty training, meal planning}.

Why He offers to take all of these burdens I will never fully understand. But I am so grateful that He gives us this promise:

The whole chapter of Isaiah 40 is great. Here is my favorite part:

We can get so busy in our day-to-day activities and there are lots of little hiccups throughout our days. Most resolve themselves, but sometimes they don’t.

Let my momentary weariness be a reminder to you to talk to God about your hiccups.

If you have worries {big or small} that you can’t handle the burden of any longer, I’m right there with you.

Don’t carry them alone.

You may not have instant answers or disappearing troubles, but I can assure you, you will have peace.

Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.

It’s truly the easiest form of weight-loss.

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